Men's Basketball Coach Mike Lonergan Adds Pete Strickland and Kevin Sutton as Assistant Coaches

New assistant coaches Kevin Sutton (left) and Pete Strickland

June 2, 2011

WASHINGTON, DC -- Pete Strickland and Kevin Sutton have been hired as assistant coaches for men's basketball at The George Washington University, head coach Mike Lonergan announced today. Strickland and Sutton join Associate Head Coach Hajj Turner to round out Lonergan's staff. Strickland comes to GW after spending the last five seasons as an assistant coach at NC State under Sidney Lowe. Sutton spent the last eight seasons at Florida's Montverde Academy where he coached former Colonial Joseph Katuka (`11) among others.

"Pete and Kevin are both well-respected basketball coaching veterans," Lonergan said. "It is a luxury to have someone of Pete's stature and experience on our staff, and I plan to lean on him for his insight and wisdom. Kevin is also someone I've wanted to work with for a long time. He has built a solid reputation as one of the best teachers of the game."

Strickland has 21 years of Division I coaching experience overall, including serving for seven years as a head coach at Coastal Carolina from 1999-05. He earned Big South Coach of the Year honors in 1999-00 and left CCU with the second-most career victories in school history. While at Coastal Carolina, Strickland helped produce three All-Americans. One of Strickland's players was the Big South Player of the Year three times in his last five years at Coastal, while three players made the All-Rookie Team, and two were named Rookie of the Year.

"It is a pleasure to join Mike Lonergan and his staff at GW," said Strickland. "I've admired the GW basketball program going back to my days in the A-10 at Dayton and as a player in the Eastern Eight at Pitt. With the staff Mike is assembling here, I'm very excited to be a part of what promises to be a bright future for Colonials Basketball. I am most excited, though, about joining Mike to learn from - and hopefully contribute to - his successful ways. As a head coach, Mike has earned success that few others in our profession have earned. It is energizing to be here in Foggy Bottom with such an accomplished coach and respected colleague."

Sutton has 24 years of coaching experience including a pair of two-year stints as an assistant coach at both James Madison University and Old Dominion University.

Sutton was the head coach at three very successful basketball programs at Montrose Christian in 1999, Bishop McNamara from 2001-03 and at Montverde Academy 2004-11. At Montverde he coach seven nationally ranked teams, including the 2007 National Champions. His record was 186-33, while turning out 55 Division I scholarship athletes and three All-Americans.

Sutton's career includes serving as the Associate Head Coach and Head Junior Varsity Coach at three nationally ranked high school programs, Flint Hill Preparatory from 1988-90, Harker Preparatory from 1990-92, and at St. John's Prospect Hall from 1992-98. At all three schools, Sutton amassed an overall coaching record of 303-69 (.815). He has been a part of two undefeated seasons. In 1993-94, his JV team went undefeated at 17-0 and in 1998 he was the Associate Head Coach on the USA Today Super 25 National Championship team that also was undefeated at 25-0.

"I am thrilled to join Mike's staff at GW," said Sutton. "I grew up in northern Virginia, and I've followed the Colonials from afar while watching Joseph [Katuka] develop. It's great to be back home, and this is a tremendous opportunity to be a part of something special."

Strickland's teams also excelled off the court, posting the highest graduation rate of any Division I football, baseball or basketball program in the state of South Carolina in 2004-05, according to NCAA statistics.

Strickland's 1999-00 squad was picked to finish at the bottom in their league in the preseason, but Strickland guided the Chanticleers to a third-place showing, earning league coach of the year honors for his efforts. That season, his squad ranked third in the nation in three-point field goal percentage, and posted the ninth-most improved RPI in the nation.

Prior to his stint at Coastal Carolina, Strickland spent 10 seasons at three different Division I schools as an assistant coach including Atlantic 10 member Dayton from 1994-98. During his tenure at Dayton and Old Dominion (1992-94), he served as the top assistant to current DePaul head coach Oliver Purnell. He also spent three seasons on the staff at VMI (1989-91) under Joe Cantafio.

Dayton posted six victories over top-25 ranked opponents in Strickland's last two seasons with the program, with the 1998 squad winning the A-10 West Division regular season championship and advancing to the NIT's second round. At ODU, Strickland helped the Monarchs to three consecutive postseason tournaments, the Colonial Athletic Association Championship and an NCAA Tournament berth in 1992. The Monarchs posted a 42-18 record during the next two years and won back-to-back regular season titles.

A 1979 graduate of the University of Pittsburgh, Strickland completed his playing career ranked as the Panthers' all-time leader in assists. He ranks among Pitt's all-time leaders for single-game assists when he handed out 13 against Villanova in 1978. A four-year letterwinner at Pitt, he was a three-year starter and two-year captain. Strickland prepped at DeMatha High School where he played for Hall of Famer Morgan Wootten. As a senior in 1975, he helped lead the team to the D.C. City Championship and was named a first-team all-state performer.

Sutton also has more than 20 years of coaching experience at every level of basketball camps and clinics, including camps at George Washington. Along with his speaking experiences at camps, Sutton has been the director of the Stu Vetter Basketball Camp for 10 years and also ran the Five Star Developmental Camp as well as his Circle of Success Camp for five years.

Some of the notable players that Sutton has helped develop include: George Lynch (North Carolina), Arron Bain (Villanova), Randolph Childress (Wake Forest), Cory Alexander (Virginia), Exree Hipp (Maryland), Serge Zwikker (North Carolina), Cameron Dollar (UCLA), Nate James (Duke), Jason Capel (North Carolina). Lynch, Bain, Zwikker, James, and Capel were all voted McDonald's All-Americans. Lynch, Childress, Alexander and Zwikker were all drafted by the NBA.

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